Archive | December, 2013

‘Deep learning’ technology inspired by human brain

Posted on 26 December 2013 by admin

MAchiNeS  are becoming increasingly more intelligent – able to see, speak and even think like us because of “deep learning”, a set of algorithms that allows machines to see objects and understand what they are.

Prof Zoubin Ghahramani from the University of cambridge told Rebecca Morelle, reporting for the Today programme: “What makes deep learning different from other kinds of machine learning is that the structure is loosely inspired by our understanding of the brain.

“computers, if they’re exposed to lots and lots of data – where that data could be images, videos, music, human speech – can extract patterns from that data.”

This intelligence can then be used for a variety of technologies, including smart glasses and self-driving cars, which has led to companies such as Google and Facebook investing in it heavily.

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Deepika Padukone keen to work with Hrithik, Salman & Aamir

Posted on 26 December 2013 by admin

MumbAi: After acting with popular actors like Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone now wants to work with other superstars – Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

“Every year  i am asked this question (which  bollywood actor  i would like to work with now), but  i hope in the next one or two years i will get to work with Hrithik, Salman and Aamir,” Deepika, who has given four back-to-back hits this year, told reporters here at her success party.

“Till now  i have not worked with these actors (Aamir, Salman and Hrithik),” she added. There are reports that Deepika has been roped in opposite Salman in Sooraj barjatya`s next, but Deepika denied and said: “That`s not true and i have not officially met Sooraj ji.”

it`s not just Deepika who is eager to work with Salman. In fact, the `bigg boss` host has also expressed his desire to work with the actress and has been seen praising her on many occasions. Deepika said it feels great.

“Definitely it feels great when Salman says such good things about me because if you all know he was the one who first noticed me,” said Deepika, who made her  bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh in 2007 film `Om Shanti Om`.

“i was doing an ad with his friends in Rajasthan. So, he noticed me first of all and he was the one who offered me my first film,” she recalled. Deepika, during her modelling days, had got an acting offer from Salman before she was chosen for Shah Rukh-starrer `Om Shanti Om`. However, the actress denied Salman`s offer as she felt she was not ready to face the camera.

Currently, Deepika has films like `Happy New Year`, `Finding Fanny Fernandes` and imtiaz Ali`s untitled film in her kitty.

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Shruti in Gabbar, after all

Posted on 26 December 2013 by admin

We were the first to tell that Shruti Haasan is being reconsidered for Gabbar af-ter Shraddha Kapoor left the film. Shruti has signed on the dotted line, says producer Shabina Khan. She will start shooting with Akshay in January, 2014. mom Sarika more proactive after stalker incident: Sarika has started being more proactive as far as her older daughter Shruti goes.

A source says, “Since the stalker incident, Shruti has not been answering phone calls unless it is from close family.

Actor Shruti Haasan was allegedly attacked on Tuesday morning by a stalker at her apartment in mumbai. The website www.123telugu.com reports that when the 27-year-old opened her door, a man grabbed her throat and force his way into her home. She slammed the door on his hand and he then ran away. Her spokesperson told NDTV that she has not yet filed a police complaint and is “very shaken.”

“i’m doing fine and thankyou for the concern,” she tweeted late last night. ms Haasan, whose father is famous Tamil actor Kamal Haasan, has acted in Hindi movies like Luck and Ramaiya Vatavaiya, but has done most of her work in Telugu films.

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Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra: Eager and Motivated to Make a Difference

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

Samuel Getachew

Toronto

Long before Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra became a household name in a disputed NDP nomination in Scarborough-Guildwood, she was already making a positive impact. From her employment with UNITE HERE as a community and political organizer – her foot prints in activism was everywhere.

The Union where she works fulltime represents Toronto’s diverse populations in the hotel, food service and gaming industry. In her spare time, she has been involved in political campaigns here at home and abroad in the United States. She was also a daring City council candidate in Scarborough’s Ward 43 that pitted her against controversial then first time candidate Paul Ainslie. That very same year, she was crowned as a City Idol winner – in recognition of aspiring politicians who have potential to be elected in the future.

In recent weeks, she was also a by-election candidate to represent the NDP as a provincial seat candidate. That effort that assured her a quick nomination acclamation became a battle ground when the party decided at the 11th hour to endorse a party insider in Adam Giambrone for the nomination.

The party felt Giambrone had a better chance to steal the seat from the Liberals since his name was more recognized as a successful former elected official with the City of Toronto and the TTC. The seat was called after Margarett Best, a former Liberal Cabinet Minister, resigned in protest after being the only one to be dropped from non-retiring MPP’s by new Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The Chhabra campaign felt cheated especially as mysterious names appeared as electors as Giambrone became a candidate. They contested 12 names that were not on the candidates list that was received by her campaign. The party ignored them. At the end, she was defeated and Giambrone won by single digits. Her supporters fled the party as she searched for legal advice. The Toronto Star picked up the story and her treatment became a campaign issue.

At the end – she decided not to pursue a legal challenge, ignore the attention and continue with her activism. In disappointment, she found the zeal to remain politically active and even become more active. She reflected with the Toronto Star how she “was obviously angry at the party, but I haven’t shed a tear in all of this,” and that she was” going to run for office again, absolutely.” That is a great thing.

In the meantime, she continued to be a steward of a passionate union movement in Toronto. Why with an organized union I asked her.

Within Toronto, her efforts were recognized as she became Toronto Star’s Youth Nation 2011 Panel and a member of the DiverseCity Voices, an initiative of Maytree Foundation. She also became a sought after panelist, speaker, and facilitator and have been featured and interviewed both on radio and TV.

This was a continuous effort started as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto where she held countless student executive positions. In the party of Jack Layton, Tommy Douglas and Stanley Knowles that she passionately still believes in, yet that party neglected her earlier this year, she serves as a volunteer co-chair of the Toronto Area Council of the New Democratic Party of Ontario.

It’s anyone’s guess if she will be a candidate for city council in 2014 once again. Candidate or not – I am certain her voice will still matter.

I had a chance to speak to Chhabra recently.

Please -Tell me about your political activism?

I work as a Community and Political Organizer with UNITE HERE – the hotel, food service and gaming workers’ union representing workers across Canada and the United States. I am politically engaged having worked in many campaigns here in Canada as well as the United States. I was also a City Council candidate in 2006 in Scarborough’s Ward 43.

Tell me about some of your union involvement?

My work with the Union is rooted in the traditional and emerging strength of an organizing culture that has taught me to think intentionally about building power through ground-up organizing in order to drive electoral politics. As part of my work, in 2012, I spent 8 months in the United States in New Haven, Connecticut and Las Vegas, Nevada building a broader community and political program through developing a cadre of organizers in the community that ultimately culminated in the launch of a new community organization.

Share with me some of your involvement in local grassroots initiatives in Toronto?

I was part of the Toronto Star’s Youth Nation 2011 Panel and am a member of the DiverseCity Voices, an initiative of Maytree Foundation. I have been a panelist, speaker, and facilitator and have been featured and interviewed both on radio and TV. I have held countless elected positions throughout her undergraduate time at University of Toronto, and have been a board/executive member of many community organizations. I also co-chair the Toronto Area Council of the New Democratic Party of Ontario.

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Enjoy but be careful too

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

Season’s first snowfall had caused havoc on the roads with OPP reporting a collision every two minutes and multi-vehicle collision on QEW.

Approximately 20 vehicles were involved in the crash that closed the highway from Erin Mills Pkwy. to Winston Churchill Blvd. shortly before noon, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

OPP Sergeant Dave Woodford said in his 31 years, he’s never seen anything like it. Over a 24-hour period starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, they received 1,761 calls for service along the highways they patrol from Niagara Falls to Cambridge, north to Barrie and east to Newcastle in Durham Region. Most were for single vehicles that slid into a guard rail or ditch. There were two major collisions. From midnight to 7 a.m. Sunday, there were more than 400 reported collisions in the GTA. There were another 255 collisions reported Sunday after 7 a.m.

“I don’t believe there was one road that we patrol that didn’t have some sort of collision on it.”

The situation was avoidable in many instances. When you look out of the window of your warm and cozy living room or bedroom, the weather does not seem that bad and white blanked of snow is quite inviting, however once in the car and on the road, it’s an entirely different story. Caution is essential and you also have to be mindful of the fact that your mistake can cause you harm, but it can also damage and injure the lives and property of others.

Sergeant Dave Woodford said it too. “ Drivers were going too fast, following too closely and not adjusting to the conditions.

“You can’t blame the road and the weather conditions because there are thousands of vehicles out there, if it’s the road’s fault, everyone would be involved.”

On a more holly jolly note, We may get a white Christmas. A warm front is expected to hit Thursday with a high of one degree and Friday will see four degrees, but then it gets cold again on Saturday.

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Ontario Partners With Cisco Canada to Help Create Up to 1,700 New Jobs

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

Ontario is partnering with Cisco Canada to launch the largest job-creating investment in the history of the province’s tech sector.

Cisco will make Ontario one of its global research and development hubs for its next-generation technologies. It will create up to 1,700 jobs to expand its current Ontario workforce to 3,000 in the next six years, with up to $190 million in provincial support. Cisco will potentially grow its Ontario workforce to 5,000 within the next 10 years.

Cisco is investing up to $4 billion in Ontario over the next decade, including up to $2.2 billion in salaries alone. The Ontario government is providing a total grant of up to $220 million to support Cisco’s investment.

Ontario is attracting leading companies like Cisco through its talented workforce, research infrastructure and competitive business climate. The majority of Cisco’s new hires will be in the field of research and development, and the company will be focusing on recent graduates and mentoring the next generation of talent in Ontario.

Partnering with business to create jobs is part of the government’s economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate across Ontario.

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Government of Canada Invites Canadians to “Have Your Say” On Canada’s 150th Celebrations

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, launched pan-Canadian consultations to seek Canadians’ views on how they would like to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

 “Canada’s 150th celebrations will give us the opportunity to reflect on all the things that make Canada the united, prosperous and free country it is today,” said Minister Glover. “I invite all Canadians across our great country to tell us how they would like to celebrate in 2017.”

The Government of Canada will undertake extensive consultations, with meetings being planned throughout Canada. The consultations kicked off today with a roundtable in Toronto, where Minister Glover met with community leaders to discuss their perspective on Canada’s approaching milestone anniversary. Additional roundtables in other communities will be announced at a later date.

At the same time, Canadians are invited to participate in the consultations through an online questionnaire at Canada.ca/150 or Canada150.gc.ca.

Over the next four years, on the Road to 2017, celebrations will mark key historic milestones that have defined our country. In 2014, commemorations will include the centennial of the start of the First World War, the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, the bicentennial of Sir George-Étienne Cartier’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences.

To learn more about the commemorations leading up to Canada 150 and to participate in the online forum visit Canada.ca/150 or Canada150.gc.ca.

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NDP MPs MEET SURVIVOR OF 1984 ANTI-SIKH POGROMS BIBI JAGDISH KAUR IN HONOUR OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

Members of the NDP Caucus hosted Bibi Jagdish Kaur and her son Bhai Gurdeep Singh as they shared their story of survival during the tragic pogroms of 1984 that targeted Sikh men, women and children in New Delhi and many other parts of India.

 “Bibi Ji is a powerful orator, her story is deeply moving and her strength to find justice is awe-inspiring,” said Employment and Social Development Critic Jinny Sims (Newton–North Delta). “As we mark International Human Rights Day Bibi Jagdish Kaur’s story is a reminder of why we must always stand tall for the principles of social justice.”

 Bibi Jagdish Kaur was accompanied on Parliament Hill by her son Gurdeep Singh. Gurdeep Singh, who was 6 years old in 1984, explained how he escaped the mobs by concealing his religious identity and cutting his hair, a visible identity marker of being a Sikh.

“Jagdish Kaur’s testimony is a real life example of why the NDP stands in solidarity with victims and with independent human rights organizations,” added Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “In all of this, there is space for love, hope and optimism – even during these dark days, Sikh victims found refuge and shelter from those of various faith backgrounds. Through unity we are hopeful the call for justice will prevail.”

Immigration Critic Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe also attended the meeting with Bibi Jagdish Kaur and Bhai Gurdeep Singh.

Under the leadership of Tom Mulcair, the NDP remains the only party to continue its calls for justice for the survivors and an explanation for why the Sikh community was targeted by organized mobs.

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We must accept multiculturalism

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

By Mehdi Rizvi            

Toronto

When I came to Canada nearly 15 years ago, I could not have imagined that the place which is now my new home would be so accepting, accommodating and tolerant of other cultures. Here we learn how to earn respect by giving respect to others. This is the beauty of Canadian society, which allows hundreds of cultures to co-exist peacefully.

Yom is an ancient Hebrew and Arabic word which means “day.” Yom Eid is a Muslim thanksgiving day after a month of fasting in Ramadan. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year. Yom Ashura is a day of mourning observed by the Muslim community every year on the 10th of Moharram, the first month of the lunar calendar. This year, it was observed on Thursday, November 14.

Mahatma Gandhi said: “I learnt from Hussein how to attain victory while being oppressed.”

In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, British historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) noted: “In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hussein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”

Hussein’s message of commitment and submission is religiously communicated, discussed, heard and preached every year. To mourn his death, Muslims arrange lectures and speeches every day from the first of Moharram to its climax on Yom Ashura.

On the eve of Ashura, during the night vigil, mourners wear black clothes, light candles and pray that darkness gives way to light with justice, freedom and truth spreading around the world. They pray for the victory of rightness over the forces of evil and the rule of justice and equality for all human beings in all parts of the world.

The mourners offer special prayers and keep themselves busy in rituals and refrain from taking food and water until the time of the martyrdom (about 3 p.m.). All lights are turned off until “sham-e-Gharibaan” (the evening of the mourners) is over. At sunset, a scholar sheds light on the message and lessons learned from the event, and then delivers a lecture.

Communities that observe Ashura come together and arrange mourning processions in Toronto every year. The main processions in Toronto this year started out from Queen’s Park and Milliken Park. The mourners hold symbolic flags (alams) and walk slowly, reciting elegies to express sorrow over the tragedy, while also showing their support for justice and truth.

We live peacefully among nearly 200 cultural groups in Toronto. This peaceful co-existence is thanks in part to the multiculturalism policy introduced by Pierre Trudeau in 1971. It calls on the government of Canada to recognize and promote the understanding that multiculturalism reflects the diversity of Canadian society and acknowledges the freedom of all segments of society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage.

If we survive as a Canadian nation, we must accept multiculturalism without destroying our cultural harmony and heritage. By educating ourselves about others’ cultures and making cultural connections based on the pillars of mutual respect, we can work to rid ourselves of ignorance and prejudice. Muslim states divided by sectarian strife can follow the Canadian example and the message of Hussein, which is an old version of the modern Charter of Human Rights that we practice for the benefit of humanity, not any one community.

Mehdi Rizvi is a former member of the Community Editorial Board, Toronto Star and an affiliate of the Center of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, which is a consortium of three Toronto universities. His column appears in rabble each month.

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Peace Welcome Club to Celebrate its third Year

Posted on 20 December 2013 by admin

Harnoor Gill

Founder

Peace Welcome Club

Georgetown, Ontario

When I came to Canada back in January of 2002 with my parents, I left my relatives, friends, and loved ones behind. I knew that life was going to become challenging in this new environment especially with the language barrier. Being born in Hong Kong my parents decided to put me in pre-school there before we moved to our new country. Once I had started I learned Cantonese more fluently than I learned how to read English. Being in a minority group like mine wasn’t easy for me as I was one of the few kids who was of Indian Descent. At the same time I had a lot of fun talking with these children and it was a great experience for me as well.

Once we moved to Canada I started school in junior kindergarten at Cherry Tree Public School in Brampton. As I grew, I started looking for youth-led projects in my community but without much success. Though, there were adult-led initiatives for youth but not by youth for youth. It did not take me long to come up with an idea that incorporates peace. Thereafter, I founded the Peace Welcome Club (PWC) that not only welcomed young children new to Canada but to those who are looking for volunteer opportunities as well as helping to support them through the facebook page of PWC.

As time flew by, we achieved a lot of success in a short span of time. With help of our team members we’ve accomplished so much without any external financial support. This includes donating more than 10, 000 books to youth to help in their literacy; more than 2500 jeans in India and elsewhere: organizing shoreline clean ups, donating food to local food banks and raising awareness in going zero waste.

In February of 2014, the PWC will celebrate its third years of existence. To celebrate peace, we would like to recognize a youth who makes his/her community a better place to live, work and play. In return we want to nominate a ‘Peace Builder of the Year’ who will most likely be chosen.

Do you know someone in your community who is making a difference? Someone who embodies the Peace Welcome Club spirit of helping others, his/her work initiated should be service-oriented, and help improve or enhance the quality of life for people in need around them.

Nominations are open to anyone between the youth age of 8-18. The selection of the Peace Builder of the Year is based on how strong the nominee’s work measures up in the following areas.

Their initiative itself such as money raised, number of those benefiting from action, press coverage of the results, the depth of initiative, creativity behind the effort itself as well as challenges that are overcome in order to perform the work in a successful manner.

The successful candidates that get picked will be profiled in the newspaper for their efforts. If interested, email at PeaceWelcomeClub@gmail.com.

I feel a strong sense of connection to my community while reaching out to do this. I leave the readers with one word this holiday season – volunteer. We can make the world a better place and my hope and prayer is that through our seemingly small actions of peace right here we can. The great Mother Teresa of Calcutta who helped thousands of all faiths and backgrounds used to say God doesn’t expect us to succeed but to try!

For updates on this exciting initiative as well as other volunteer initiatives, please like us on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub

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